Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dogs Who Eat Fat Smell Better

According to the story, a woman once said to Samuel Johnson (famous for writing an 18th century dictionary), "Sir, you smell!"
To which Johnson is supposed to have replied, "No, Madam. You smell. I stink."
Samuel Johnson
A recent study has found that a diet high in fat helps dogs to smell better, although it doesn't keep them from stinking.
My favorite perfume: Arome de Dead Fish
The study was conducted at the Canine Detection Research Institute in Auburn, Alabama over a period of 18 months, and was funded by a million dollar grant from the Department of Justice. The dogs in the study rotated through 3 different diets: a high-end performance diet containing 27% protein, regular adult dog food containing 18% protein, and regular adult dog food enhanced with corn oil. The dogs' ability to detect odors improved significantly when they were eating more fat and less protein.
His accuracy is above 90% on a high-fat diet
The scientists believe that a cool dog can smell better than a hot one: that panting to lose body heat inhibits the sense of smell. Dogs eating more fat and less protein were able to return to normal body temperature more quickly. The scientists also speculated that the higher fat diet may somehow directly improve the sense of smell.

It sounds to me as though they need another million dollar grant to test that hypothesis.